Although our exclusive omnibus survey last week revealed that SMEs aren't planning a hiring spree just yet, many entrepreneurs have big investment plans for the next few years. So we think it's the perfect time to salute the UK's most exciting, inspiring and ground-breaking new companies. That's why we've teamed up with Cisco for our brand new Business Heroes awards - we're big believers that Britain is home to some world-class small and medium sized firms, and we want to recognise those that have not only survived but thrived in these tough times.
We're looking for nominations in six categories. New Kid on the Block is for start-ups that have been operating for less than two years. Borderless Business covers firms that are making a big splash in overseas markets. Technovator is for companies that have made clever use of technology to transform their business. Then there's Green King, for companies that are doing sustainability with a difference. Mumpreneur recognises those inspirational women who are successfuly juggling their family life with running a business. And the final category is True Grit - designed for businesses that have triumphed in the face of adversity.
'It’s been a tough few years for small businesses,' says MT editor Matthew Gwyther. 'But as we emerge from the downturn, small businesses and entrepreneurs have come to the rescue and form a more vital part of the economy than ever.' SMEs are 'the most important creators of new jobs and economic wealth,' adds David Critchley, who's Cisco UKI director of Small and Medium Enterprise. 'They are also responsible for some of the most innovative business initiatives out there. So, with Business Heroes, we want to recognise UK businesses that are truly out of this world.'
Feel free to nominate yourself - or tell us about someone else who fits the bill. For more information, and to enter the Business Heroes awards, visit the Business Heroes competition website. Entries will close on January 6, 2011.